Abdul Lateef & the Distraction Machine- Costume design
Poster for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machine by Lateef Martin. Costume design by Lateef Martin & Isabelle Duguay. Lateef Martin illustrated the logo and characters based on band members.  Art Director Isabelle placed characters and graphics, created the background and worked on colour correction. This artwork was used for posters, flyers and social media for a sold-out 3-performance run at the Pop Montreal music festival September 28-30 2018 in Montreal, Canada.
Photoshoot of Abdul Lateef and The Distraction Machine, full band dressed in costumes created by Oxyd Creations and Lateef Martin. Photography by Benoit Vermette.
Part of a series of promotional images for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machine featuring each member of the band. To the right, the finished costume based on the artwork of the poster.

I built my Distractor battle suit 2 years ago and have been cosplaying the Distractor at conventions and Halloween since. Last year I began playing the lethelium bike harp ( a bicycle wheel rim with guitar strings and tuners) at conventions.This suit served as a touchstone for all the costumes for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machine. They would be unified by colour palette and theme such as bike tube rubber, reflectors, gears, bike tire and in the case of the Cyclepunk Steppers, an array of helmets armors and mohawks. Costume and batons by Lateef Martin, photography by Benoit Vermette
Part of a series of promotional images for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machine featuring each member of the band. To the right, the finished costume based on the artwork of the poster, illustrated by Lateef Martin. Art director Isabelle Duguay took special interest in designing the costume for the female members of the band, as well as Chimwemwe The Shaman, ensuring they had an air mystery, wonder and strength. Her influences ranged from afrofuturism, steampunk, bike-based fashion and an array of post-modern and post-apocalyptic fashion.

We kind of went backwards, which presented a creative challenge: creating the costumes based on the promotional poster! Costume by Kiri Skuce of Oxyd Creations, make up and hair by Aiza Ntibarikure photography by Benoit Vermette
Since I built my Distractor battle suit 2 years ago and have been cosplaying the Distractor at conventions and Halloween since, it made sense that I would build the battle suits for  Cyclepunk Steppers. I also created step choreography for the performance so I had intimate knowledge and hands-on experience in how each dancer moved, their style and their overall character. All these elements helped me to determine their unique style. One of the biggest realizations while building  fitting, testing and tweaking was that although I could have built their suits to look closer to the illustration, they would be too hot or limited in movement for the Steppers to dance freely. Costume by Lateef Martin, make up by Jennifer Casamir (Step Sista Bounce), photography by Benoit Vermette
Since I built my Distractor battle suit 2 years ago and have been cosplaying the Distractor at conventions and Halloween since, it made sense that I would build the battle suits for  Cyclepunk Steppers. I also created step choreography for the performance so I had intimate knowledge and hands-on experience in how each dancer moved, their style and their overall character. All these elements helped me to determine their unique style. One of the biggest realizations while building  fitting, testing and tweaking was that although I could have built their suits to look closer to the illustration, they would be too hot or limited in movement for the Steppers to dance freely. Costume by Lateef Martin, make up by Isabelle Duguay, photography by Benoit Vermette
Based on Art Director Isabelle Dugauy's vision of the Shaman, I created a look that also brought together some of the ideas she came up with for her own cosplay, particularly the cuts in the rubber and the hanging tubes. I incorporated the idea that most of the Distractors should have gears, some of which would have 'heartgears' centred on their chest consisting of a gears and often, a reflector. Many distractors also wield disc brakes on their backs, a cyclepunk-shamanistic 'spell' ensuring that all bad things stop short of overtaking you from behind.
Art director Isabelle Duguay took special interest in designing the costume and make up for Chimwemwe The Shaman. Having known, and worked with Chimwemwe Miller who is both an actor and musician, she crafted his look based on his role in the band: a master of soundscapes and atmospheres. Using samples, a range of percussion instruments, his voice and physicality, Chimwemwe brought his character to life captivating the audience with sound and vision. 
Part of a series of promotional images for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machine featuring each member of the band. To the right, the finished costume based on the artwork of the poster, illustrated by Lateef Martin. Costume by Kiri Skuce of Oxyd Creations, photography by Benoit Vermette

Art Director Isabelle Duguay collected dozens upon dozens of images for inspiration, mixing afrofuturism haute couture and African fashion. As we got closer to show time I didn't have the luxury of making my concept sketches more detailed for our costume designer Kiri Skuce, so I provided the basics that communicated what we wanted.
Part of a series of promotional images for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machine  featuring each member of the band. To the right, the finished costume based on the artwork of the poster, illustrated by Lateef Martin. Art director Isabelle Duguay took special interest in designing Nadine's costume, her influences ranged from afrofuturism, steampunk, bike-based fashion and an array of post-modern and post-apocalyptic fashion.Costume by Kiri Skuce of Oxyd Creations, hair by Leah Waackeisha McFly, photography by Benoit Vermette
Abdul Lateef & the Distraction Machine- Costume design
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Abdul Lateef & the Distraction Machine- Costume design

Promotional artwork for Abdul Lateef and the Distraction Machines, a musical performance based o Z'Isle a zombie comic book series that Lateef Ma Read More
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